The Center for Bone and Tissue Repair and Regeneration at Missouri University of Science and Technology will become the Center for Biomedical Science and Engineering on July 1, 2013.
“We believe this new name is appropriate, as we are broadening the scope of the center,” says center director Dr. Len Rahaman, professor of materials science and engineering at Missouri S&T.
Established in 2008, the center’s initial mission was to research and develop advanced biomaterials and biosensors to help heal traumatized bones and tissues. Early projects included the development of bioactive glass scaffolds to treat bone injuries and hydroxyapatite implants to help broken bones mend themselves.
The bioactive glass is a specialty material designed to interact with biological systems, says Rahaman. “The glass will eventually convert into living bone, eliminating the need for the implant to be removed after the bone has healed” he says.
But as Rahaman says, “Bone is just one tissue.” Recent research at the center now involves a broader array of biomedical approaches. They include:
- Development of bioactive glasses that degrade and release ions to speed healing of open wounds. In the form of a cotton candy-like glass fiber, these glasses show a remarkable ability to heal soft tissue wounds in a clinical trial under way at Phelps County Regional Medical Center in Rolla.
- A urinalysis screening method to diagnose breast cancer. The technique is being tested at Mercy Breast Center in Springfield, Mo.
- Development of sensors that could be implanted in diabetes patients to monitor blood sugar levels.
- Studies on the antibacterial properties of implants to prevent infections after an artificial bone implant.
Given the range of research under way, “the Center for Biomedical Science and Engineering is a more appropriate name,” says Rahaman.
Sixteen Missouri S&T faculty members, including Rahaman, are associated with the multidisciplinary center. The researchers represent several science and engineering disciplines at Missouri S&T, including biological sciences, chemical and biochemical engineering, chemistry, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, materials science and engineering, mechanical engineering, and nuclear engineering.
Researchers also are working with faculty members at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, the University of Missouri-Columbia and Saint Louis University, as well as with researchers in Europe and China.